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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

354

The Loom of Language

Rules of tins sort are not absolutely reliable   Even if a noun is mascu-
line or feminine in Latin, its descendant in a daughter dialect does not
invariably fall into the same gender-class  Consequently knowledge of
one Romance language is not an infallible guide to gender in another
This is illustrated by the following list.

LATIN
	FRENCH
	SPANISH
	ITALIAN

fiore        (floviej^m
	fieur, f
	flor,f
	fiore, m

lepore     (hai e)9 m
	hevre, m
	liebre, f
	lepre, f

limite      (hmif), m
	limite, f
	limite, m
	lumte, m

pulvere   (dusi)> m
	poudre, f
	polvo, m
	polvere, f

sanguine (blood)) m
	sang, m
	sangre, f
	sangue, m

aestate     (summer)^ f
	et6ğrn
	estio, m
	estate, f

dente      (tooth\ m
	dent, f
	diente, m
	dente, m

fronte      (foiehead^ f
	front* m
	frente, f
	fronte, f.

arte         (a,rt)y f
	art, m
	arte, m or f
	artey f

A single common exception to the rule that Italian and Spanish
-0 nouns are masculine is the word for hand, which is feminine
Thus the white hand is la mono Uanca (Span), la mono hanca (Italian).
Italian nouns of the minority class51 e those which do not have the
singular terminals -o or -a end in -E and are either masculine or
feminine. There is an -E class in Spanish and Portuguese, and an
even larger group of Spanish and Portuguese nouns which end in a
consonant Spanish nouns which have the singular endings -D or -Z
are usually feminine

Spaniards make a peculiar distinction between animate and inanimate
objects When the direct object is a person or its pronoun equivalent (de-
monstrative, interrogative, relative, and indefinite), it must be preceded by
the preposition a, e g veo a Don Juan (I see Don Juan), no he v^sto a nadie
(I have seen nobody), but veo la plaza (I see the square) The preposition
'a may also be used when the object is a farruliar animal, e g llama al
perroy he calls the dog We omit it after tener (have) and querer (want),
but not when tener means hold or querei means love, e g tengo a mi amiga
(I am holding my friend)

LATIN
	ITALIAN
	SPANISH
	PORTUGUESE
	FRENCH
	ENGLISH

OVO
	uovo
	huevo
	OVO
	oeuf
	egg

vino
	vino
	vino
	vmho
	vin
	wine

anno
	anno
	ano
	ano
	an
	year

aqua
	acqua
	agua
	agua
	eau
	water

porta
	porta
	puerta
	porta
	porte
	door

bucca
	bocca
	boca
	boca
	bouche
	mouth